Equality Virginia disappointed in House Subcommittee Vote

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND, Va. (February 4, 2016) – On Tuesday, February 9, Virginia House of Delegates Subcommittee #4 on General Laws voted to pass an unprecedented six anti-LGBT bills, while choosing to vote against bills that would grant protections to gay and transgender Virginians.
Equality Virginia, along with gay and transgender community advocates, attended the subcommittee meeting to testify against the harmful legislation and speak in support of the pro-equality bills. The following six bills are opposed by Equality Virginia, and are considered anti- LGBT bills by Virginia’s gay and transgender community:

HB 77 (Marshall): Allows for discrimination in violation with federal policy
HB 385 (Marshall): Removes discrimination protections covering more than 1/4 of gay and transgender public school employees
HB 397 (LaRock): Contradicts federal policy, narrowly defines sex and gender to exclude transgender people from any protections against discrimination
HB 663, HB 781 (Cole): Stigmatize transgender youth and force them to use incorrect public accommodations
HB 773 (Gilbert): Provides a license to discriminate against gay and lesbian families

The six anti-LGBT bills passed by House Subcommittee #4 seek to harm gay and transgender Virginians in a number of ways, from discriminating against LGBT families to prohibiting transgender people and youth from using the appropriate restrooms in schools and government buildings.

“Today Delegates X, X, X, X, and X stood in the path to progress and equality by passing bills that would harm gay and transgender Virginians and killing bills that would provide them much needed protections. These delegates refuse to acknowledge what the majority of Virginia has long believed: protecting LGBT Virginians is not only the right thing to do, but it’s what is best for the overall success of the commonwealth,” said Executive Director James Parrish. “Our hope now is the broad Republican support in the Senate will provide the bipartisan support needed to properly and accurately represent Virginia’s people.”

While Equality Virginia expresses disappointment at the subcommittee’s votes on the legislation heard, EV also thanks the seven patrons of pro-equality bills that would protect LGBT people across the commonwealth. These legislators are helping to pave the way for full, lived and legal equality in Virginia.
Equality Virginia will continue to monitor any bills affecting Virginia’s LGBT community as they move out of committee and to the floor.

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Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians. Since 1989, EV has worked to end discrimination, protect families and build safe communities. More information is online at EqualityVirginia.org. Connect on Facebook.com/EqualityVA or Twitter @EqualityVA.

LGBT-supportive bills killed in House Subcommittee #4 on General Laws are as follows: HB 179 (Kory), HB 300 (Simon), HB 427 (Hope), HB 429 (Villanueva), HB 913 (Toscano), and HB 1005 (Levine).

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